Tribute by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the funeral of the late President of the Republic of Tanzania, Mr John Pombe Magufuli

23 March 2021 – 12:00am

Your Excellency, President Samia Suluhu Hassan,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
To the family of our departed brother, President Magufuli,
To the government and the people of Tanzania,

The family of nations of Africa are today mourning the passing of one their own, an esteemed leader of his people and a tireless champion of the cause of African progress.

On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, please accept our deepest sympathies and condolences. This is a moment of sadness that is felt across the region and the continent.

It is little more than a year-and-a-half since I was last in Dar es Salaam, at the invitation of President Magufuli for a State Visit and to attend the 39th SADC Summit.

I recall the warmth with which we were received and the determination of President Magufuli to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our two countries.

I recall our discussions, where President Magufuli outlined his vision for the development of Tanzania, of the region and, indeed, of the continent.

As we lay our dear brother to rest, we should resolve to pursue that vision, to build an Africa of peace, justice, progress and inclusive prosperity.

As South Africans, we will forever regard Tanzania as our home away from home.

During the darkest moments in our struggle against apartheid, it was here that we were given shelter, sustenance and support.

We owe so much of our freedom to the generosity and the sacrifices of the people of Tanzania.

It is this shared past that makes us, as South Africans, feel the loss of President Magufuli all the more deeply and all the more personally.

Tanzania has lost a father and a brother, Africa has lost a visionary leader, and South Africa has lost a dear friend.

May the people of this wonderful land find peace and comfort in the difficult days ahead.

May the legacy of John Pombe Magufuli live on.

And may his soul rest in eternal peace.

Asante Sana.

I thank you.